Melbourne: The iconic Sachin Tendulkar was an expected pick for the No.4 slot while Sourav Ganguly was preferred in the leadership position in Australian spin legend Shane Warne’s greatest Indian Test XI.
Warne, who has been naming his preferred XIs from different countries on his facebook page, turned his attention to India in the latest post. The criteria for selection was that Warne must have competed against the selected players.
Not surprisingly, cricket’s highest run-scorer Tendulkar was Warne’s choice for the No.4 spot in his side. The opening slots went to Virender Sehwag and Navjot Singh Sidhu followed by the ever-dependable Rahul Dravid at No.3.
Tendulkar, who scored a whopping 15,921 runs with 51 hundreds in 200 Tests, was hardly a surprise. But Warne said he was left in a dilemma on whether to go for VVS Laxman or Mohammad Azharuddin for the No.6 position.
“This was the hardest team to select as I played against a few legends at the end of their careers like Vengsarkar, Sanjay Manjrekar, Ravi Shastri, Manoj Prabhakar as well as current players like Zaheer Khan too,” Warne wrote on his Facebook page.
“The Indian side I’ve selected is a very strong one & would be tough to play against. The hardest position to select for me was the number 6 spot between my great friend VVS or
The maverick bowler said it was this confusion which prompted him to name a 12-strong squad for India.
“Hence I named 12 and would choose the 12th man on the day!,” he said.
Also making the cut in Warne’s squad were legendary all-rounder Kapil Dev and current limited-overs captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni.
Dhoni has not played international cricket against Warne but made the cut owing to the IPL face-offs between the two.
Anil Kumble, Harbhajan Singh and Javagal Srinath formed the bowling attack of Warne’s line-up.
Warne’s Greatest India Test XI: Virender Sehwag, Navjot Singh Sidhu, Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly, Mohammad Azharuddin, Kapil Dev, MS Dhoni, Anil Kumble, Harbhajan Singh and Javagal Srinath (VVS Laxman 12th).